Benjamin Ballard of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (c.1725-1814).

Benjamin Ballard, the son of Bland Ballard, Sr, was born about 1725 in Spotsylvania county, Virginia.  Benjamin married (1) Hanah Jones, by whom he had nine children;1 and second, Elizabeth Stewart, by whom he had no issue.2

One of his earliest appearances in the records is in April 1764, when he is ordered paid 136 pounds tobacco for coming and returning 37 miles for one days attendance at a trial in Caroline county.3  On 4 June 1770, Bland Ballard deeded to Benjamin Ballard 143 acres in St. George’s Parish, Spotsylvania county, Va.4  This was not his first acquisition, for he is mentioned in a deed between Jonathan Beckwith of Richmond county and James Crapp of King George on 5 April 1770.5

On 25 August 1773, Benjamin Ballard, James Ballard and Benjamin Ballard, Jr leased 160 acres in St. George Parish from Alexander Spotswood, Esq.6  He appears in a number of records in Spotsylvania county as witness for a variety of mortgages, bonds and deeds.7  On 28 April 1780, Benjamin Ballard and Hanah Ballard conveyed 150 acres of land in Stafford county that had been devised to Benjamin Ballard and Hanah, his wife by the will of James Crapp, dec’d, to John Crapp, for 2,000 pounds current money.8

He is listed as a vestryman of St. George’s Parish in 1785, with J. W. Willis, James Lewis, G. Stubblefield, and Thomas Sharpe.9  On 28 January 1795 he conveyed to his daughter, Pegg Ballard “a negro wench & her increase,” providing that should Pegg die without issue, said negro and her increase goes to his son Charles.  The same date he conveyed a negro to his son, Charles, with the same conditions10

Benjamin died in Spotsylvania county in 1814, leaving a will dated 7 December 1813, proven 14 February 1814.11

I Benjamin Ballard of the county of Spotsylvania do hereby make my last will and testament in a manner and form following that is today.

It is my wish that all my just debts should be first paid.

After my just debts and funeral expenses are paid, I give to my wife Elizabeth one hundred acres of land to be laid of so as to take in the house and outhouses I now occupy, also six negroes, Jimmy, Che (?), the woman that came by my said wife Elizabeth and her increase, namely Milton, Robert, Sly—(?) And Henry, and also negro woman Quidah, also one third head of all my stock [illegible] plantation [illegible] of every sort, for use during her natural life, and after her decease I give the remainder to my children and their heirs forever to be equally divided among them.

The present crop I wish to remain on the plantation for the use of my wife.

All the rest of my property not before disposed of, I give to my children to be equally divided among them and their heirs forever.

To each of my children as I give property to during my lifetime, there are to account for the same at the division of my estate, at which time they are to have as much more of my estate as when added to what they have already had as will make their proportions equal to the other children, and no more.  In my lifetime I gave my son Charles twenty-five acres of land, and a negro boy by name of Randol.  To my son George I gave a negro woman by name of Patty, to my daughter Peggy I gave a negro girl by name Keziah.  This said property to be valued at what it was worth when I gave it to the before named children.

And lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my wife Elizabeth Ballard executrix and my sons James Ballard and William Ballard executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other or former wills and testaments by me heretofore made.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this seventh day of December in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirteen.  Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of Brodie S. Hull, John Clayton, John Attelam, Carter B. Brocker.

The children of Benjamin Ballard and Hanah Jones were:

Charles, born about 1756, died after 1795 in Fayette county, Kentucky; married 6 August 1787 Mary Craighead.12

George, born about 1758, was living in 1790 in Fayette county, Kentucky; married c. 1793 Mary Trigg (born about 1780, died after 1860) , who survived him (he died 1828), then married her nephew Thomas Montague Ballard.13  They had five children: 1. Beverley (born 1793, died after 1870 in Hendricks county, Indiana; married Hannah Burt, who was born 1800, died c. 1850; they appear in the 1850 Federal census in Indiana, and had eight children14); 2. Thomas W. (born about 1801); 3. Lucy (born about 1802, married William S. Moore); 4. Benjamin Perry (born about 1803; married Susan Coppage in 1824; their child was Margaret Melvina Ballard, who married William S. Temple); 5. Polly (born about 1804, married John Tansel).15

Margaret (Pegg or Pegga), born about 1771, married 24 December 1799 in Spotsylvania Co, Va., Jesse Wayt,16 and died 16 June 1830 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.17  Jesse Wayt was born 26 January 1771 and died September 1851 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Their children were: 1. William H. Waite (born about 1800, married in 1829 in Spotsylvania county as his first wife Mary Ann Ballard; their son, Maj. Charles Waite, born 1830, was of Culpeper county, Va., died in 1915); 2. George Waite (born 1810, married 30 May 1831 Mary Copenhaver, died about 1810); 3. James Waite (born 1811, died 16 May 1857, Fredericksburg, Virginia(; 4. Charles B. Waite (born 1816, died 24 November 1874, Fredericksburg, Virginia); 5. Elizabeth Waite, born 1818, Fredericksburg, Virginia.18

JAMES, married Isabella Montague.

WILLIAM, who probably witnessed the will of his grandfather Bland Ballard in 1791.  He died intestate c. 1821, when his estate was administered by William Carter in Spotsylvania county.  His wife pre-deceased him, for she was not named in the proceeding (her name is not known), but it did name his children: (1) James; (2) Lewis; (3) Sally (Sarah), born c. 1796 (according to the 1850 US Federal Census), who married Winslow Parker; (4) Betsy; (5) Mary (Betsy and Mary are identified as “infants”, and therefore born after 1800).

Administrator of William Ballard vs. James Ballard etc, Index No. 1823-005 (Original Case No. 16).

In the worshipful, The Justices of the County Court of Spotsylvania in Chancery sitting – Humbly complaining your orator William Carter respectfully represents that a claim William Ballard departed this life intestate on or about the ____ day of _______ and that your orator administered upon his estate in full form of law in the sd. County court of Spotsylvania, that your orator as admin. Has possessed himself of four negros belonging to the estate of the intestate whose names are Frank, Caroline, Elizabeth and Tener and also of a small tract of lease land of inconsiderable value, which negroes together with lease of ?? are subject to the distribution amongst the children of the intestate. That the intestate left the following children who are his heirs at law, to wit. James and Lewis Ballard who are about the age of 21 years. Betsy and Mary Ballard who are infants (to defend whose rights in this suit your orator prays that a guardian may be appointed by the court) and Sally who intermarried with Winslow Parker – that from the number and relative value of the negros aforesaid an equal allotment cannot be effected amongst the children aforsaid so entitled to distribution – and your orator believes that it would be highly detrimental to the interests of all concerned that the sd. Negros should be kept together for the purpose of cultivating the leased land aforsaid, he wishes therefore in order to just distribution of the sd. Negroes and lease, that a sale thereof may be desired by the court, and the proceeds of such sale, rather than the property itself, distributed amongst the children aforesaid. To which end he prays that the said James, Lewis, Betty & Mary Ballard, Winslow Parker and Sally his wife may be made parties to this bill and may be required to ensure the same – and to state whether they have any and if any, what objection to a sale of the negros and lease aforsaid for the purpose aforsaid.

The joint answer of James & Lewis Ballard, Winslow Parker and Sally his wife formerly Sally Parker on bill of complaint published against them in the county court of Spotsylvania in chancery by a certain William Carter admin of William Ballard dec’d. These respondents for answer to the sd. Bill saith that they are willing to a sale of the negros and lease mentioned in the plaintiff’s bill.

The joint answer of Betsy and Mary Ballard infant children of William Ballard dec’d by Charles Lewis their guardian appointed by the county court of Spotsylvania to defend them in this suit instituted against themselves and others in the sd. Court of chancery ??? thereof, by a certain William Carter admin. Of William Ballard dec’d. These respondents for ??? to the plaintiff’s bill say that they have no objection to a sale of the negros and lease mentioned in the said bill – being infants they submit their rights to the court.

The second document in the file appears to be a draft of the more formal and dated third document, transcribed below.

At a court held for Spotsylvania county the 7th day of January 1822
William Carter administrator of William Ballard, dec’d, plaintiff, against James and Lewis Ballard, Winslow Parker and Sally his wife formerly Sally Ballard, Betsy and Mary Ballard infants under the age of 21 years by Charles Lewis their guardian ad litem appointed by the court, which said James, Lewis, Sally, Betsy and Mary, are children of William Ballard, dec’d, defts [defendants].

In Chancery

This cause came on this day to be heard upon the bill of the plaintiff, the joint answer of James and Lewis Ballard, Winslow Parker and Sally his wife – and the joint answer of the infant defts, Betsy and Mary Ballard by Charles Lewis their guardian appointed by the court to defend them in this cause, and was argued by counsel. Upon consideration whereof the court doth adjudge order and decree that the plaintiff William Carter sell by public auction upon a credit of 12 months the slaves and lease in the proceedings mentioned, taking bonds with approved security for the purchase money, payable to himself as admin. of William Ballard dec’d, and that he make report of his proceedings to this court in order to a final decree.
A copy Teste
R.L. Stevenson

A fourth document appears to conclude the matter.

Pursuant to the annexed decree, I did on the 11th day of January 1822, after having given three weeks notice in the Virginia Herald, expose to sale by public auction to the highest bidder the slaves & Lease therein referred to also all the personal eff of the late Wm. Ballard, as will appear by the act [account] of sales herewith returned – [account not included in the file].

William Carter, Admin. of Wm. Ballard, dec’d.
1st Augt. 1822

The names of his children is confirmed by another chancery record, James L. Leavell & Wife etc. vs. James Ballard, Index No 1841-055,  The relevant document is a cryptic script and very difficult to read, so it is transcribed only in part below.

James L. Leavell & Nancy his wife, Jesse Wayt & Peggy his wife, James B. Lewis and John Montague adult heirs of Hannah Herring, dec’d, Charles Lewis & Mary his wife, Benjamin Ballard, James, Lewis, Winslow Parker & Sally his wife, Betsy & Mary, adult heirs of William Ballard, dec’d; Beverley, Thomas, Benjamin, Lucy & Mary, adult heirs of George Ballard, deceased; which said Nancy, Peggy, Hannah, Mary, Benjamin, William, George together with James (hereafter ??? defendant) are the devisees of the real estate of Benj. Ballard deceased respectfully ??? represents their ??? Ballard acct in Dec 1812 dividing up a tract of land ??? containing about 289 acres his will to bequeath the same (upon directing 25 acres given to his son Charles) to be equally divided amongst his children …

BENJAMIN, married Ann Graham Heslopp.

Mary Jane, married Charles Lewis.19

Ann, married James Leavell.

Hannah, married (1) James Lewis; he was born 1770 in Spotsylvania county, died 12 June 1790.  She married (2) Clement Montague, son of Clement Montague and Ann Bartlett.  She married (3) Isaac Herring.20  The children of Hannah Ballard and James Lewis were: 1. James Ballard Lewis (born 1787, Culpeper county, Virginia, died 19 September 1872; he married 2 September 1824 Elizabeth Mary Yancy, who was born 1807 in Culpeper county, Virginia, died 1890 in Mountain View, Culpeper county, Virginia.  They had nine children);21 2. Sue Lewis (married John Green); 3. Mary Lewis (married John Fox).22


1. We know Hannah’s identity from her father’s will, recorded in King George Co.:

Will of James Jones, of Parish of Brunswick in co. King George.

To wife Hanah Jones, my whole estate for life, after divided;

To son Evan Jones 1 molatto girl; also 1 negro girl, the gun he now has & all waring cloathes, & if Jane is ever got again my will that she be sold & the money divided between May Jones, daughter to Evan Jones & Hanah Jones, the daughter of James Jones.
To son Evan Jones, the plantation he now lives on which contains 313 acres of land; also 5 pounds.

To son James Jones 1 molatto girl during his life & wife Frances life & at their death she is to fall to Mason Jones, his son … give him 1 molatto man …

To daughter Hanah Ballard & Benjamin Ballard, 1 negro woman. At death of Benjamin Ballard & Hanah his wife said negro girl fall to Sally Ballard … but for want of heirs to Hanah Ballard, the daughter of Benjamin & Hanah his wife, & George Jones, son of Evan Jones … give to daughter Hanah Ballard & Benjamin Ballard the plantation I now live on & 150 acres of land belonging to it lying between Beckwith & Deep Run & the dividing line of Richard Gill’s land & mine.

To granddaughter Mary Jones … To grandson George Jones …
To son Charles Jones one negro woman. For want of heirs to Thomas Jones.

Also give to son Charles Jones remainder of part of land lying on mouth of Rush Branch on lower side of Deep Run joining to Thomas Monteith. For want of heirs to fall to Hanah Ballard, daughter of Benjamin Ballard; but if son Charles should marry any of Alexander Simpson’s family all that I have left him shall be taken away & divided among the rest of my children.

To my son Thomas Jones 200 acres of land lying on lower side of Deep Run joining on James Crap’s line [but] for want of heirs to Elizabeth Jones, daughter of Evan Jones.

Executors: James Jones & Benjamin Ballard. Witnesses: Hanah Ballard, Bland Ballard, Charles Jones. Signed: James Jones, Sr. Misc: Charles Jones relinquishes his right as legatee of will. Dated 9 May 1762, recorded 5 July 1764, King George Co. Will Book A, pp. 210-14.

2. Kentucky Genealogies, p. 51, citing a Letter from Addison M. Ballard to John T. Ballard dated 29 February 1956; copy in the Ballard File 7B 18, in The Filson Club.

3. Caroline Co. Va. Order Book. “It is ordered Zachary Taliferro pay Benjamin Ballard 136 pounds for one days attendance coming and returning 37 miles.” That same month another order appears, probably paying his brother: “It is ordered Zachary Taliaferro pay Thomas Ballard 195 pounds of tobacco for one days attendance & comming & returning 55 miles as an evidence against Charles Carter.”

4. Kentucky Genealogies, p. 51, citing Crozier, p. 273.

5. “Parcel of land conveyed to sd. Jonathan Beckwith by his father Marmaduke Beckwith 4 April 1770, being on branches of Deep Run in co. King George, binding on lands of Charles & Landon Carter, William Newton, Evan Jones, Benjamin Ballard & James Courtney … 5 April 1770. King George Co. Deed Book 5, pp. 829-30.

6. Recorded 21 October 1773. Spotsylvania Co., Va. Deed Book H (Crozier, p. 306).

7. See, for example, Spotsylvania Co., Va. Deed Book J, 5 December 1774 (witness to mortgage between Jno. Simpson, Jr and Robert Frank); Deed Book J, 2 January 1775 (indemnification for providing security for a bond); Deed Book J, 19 June 1777 (witness to Deed of Gift); Deed Book K, 28 March 1783 (witness to Deed); Will Book E, p. 993, 12 June 1790 (witness to Will of James Lewis, with G. Bell).

8. Recorded October Court 1780. Stafford Co. Va. Deeds & Wills, 1780-1786, pp. 35-36.

9. Philip Shaughter, History of St. George’s Parish (Richmond: J.W. Randolph & English, 1890) p. 65.

10. Recorded 3 February 1795, Spotsylvania Co. Va. Deed Book O (Crozier, pp. 472-73).

11. Spotsylvania Co., Va. Will Book H, 1810-1815, p. 387; Kentucky Genealogies, p. 51; Ballard File 1B 56.

12. Miller, TB Vol. 1, p. 62.

13. Heirs of Captain George Ballard: Beverley Ballard and Hannah, his wife; William S. Moore and Lucy, his wife, nee Ballard; Benjamin P. Ballard, all of Scott County, Kentucky, and John Tansel and Polly, his wife, nee Ballard, of Marion County, Indiana, give their General power of attorney to Thomas M. Ballard of Henry County, Kentucky, stating that the parties are children and heirs-at-law of George Ballard, late of Scott County, Kentucky, who was one of the sons and heirs of Benjamin Ballard, who died testate in 1813 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and entitled to a portion of the latter’s landed estate in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Deed Book BB, p. 540, 21 July 1828; Spotsylvania Co., Va. Chancery suit, Leavell vs Ballard, File #3.

14. Miller, BB, p. 22.

15. Miller, BB, pp. 7-8, 23.

16. Spotsylvania Co., Va. Co. Marriage Register, 1795-1800, p. 176.

17. Miller, BB, p. 10.

18. Miller, BB, p. 10.

19. Miller, TB, Vol. 1, p. 62.

20. Miller, BB, p. 10.

21. Miller, BB, pp. 26-27.

22. Miller, BB, p. 10.


7 thoughts on “Benjamin Ballard of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (c.1725-1814).

  1. I am in the process of looking for Isaac Herrin’s children. Have found several. Also, if the Herrins of King George Co. were related to Isaac. (James Jones’s Family).

  2. I went to the Spotsylvania County Courthouse today and made copies of the will and estate for Benjamin Ballard, his father Bland, and related members of the family. I didn’t have time to get to the deed records and will have to go back there at some point soon. I’ll make scans of the copies I was able to get, feel free to include them on the blog.


    • Patrick! Great to hear from you. I’d be very interested in posting anything you would care to share.

      At the moment I am studying record abstracts for Caroline County (Order Books) — trying to make sense of the earlier generations and how the relate to one another. It’s a frustrating business without wills and deeds.


  3. Stephen, I have posted some new information on Benjamin Ballard on my blog from the Library of Virginia chancery records. See, this includes a copy of his will from the case file. The case provides more detail on the heirs of Benjamin Ballard. It is not easy to read all the text, I am hoping to make a visit to the Spotsylvania Court again to do more research later in the month.


    • That is so cool — I’ve always wanted to spend some time with that case. I remember coming across powers of attorney executed by some of the descendants then living in Kentucky to someone traveling to attend to this protracted matter (I think it was Beverley). In any event, thank you so much for digging it out and sharing. Fascinating stuff.

  4. I am interested in Charles Ballard who married Mary Craighead. Mary was either the wife or daughter of Peter. Since Peter Craighead’s nuncupative will is dated Mar 18, 1786 and recorded Sept 4, 1786, it is entirely possible that his widow could have married Charles Ballard on Aug 6, 1787. Peter Craighead left everything to his wife (Mary) and upon her death it was to go to his children but he did not give their names.
    My dad was adopted so this is my adoptive grandfather’s line (Craigheads-not Peter but through his brother John). I am also supposed to have Ankey Ballard who married James Keaton in my mother’s line.That line goes from James and Ankey to William Keaton m Polly Mann to my gr grandmother, Martha Sharp (Keaton) who was married to Jacob Sharp. I have to admit to being lax in confirming information on my mother’s line.
    Any additional information on Charles Ballard and Mary Craighead would be greatly appreciate. Still trying to figure out what happened to the land Peter left.

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